On Prophet row, Shashi Tharoor says BJP-Centre distinction forgotten in 'overzealous' message
Shashi Tharoor said the distinction between the government and a political party has been forgotten -- in the context of the Indian embassy in Muscat reportedly sending out BJP's statement to media houses in Oman.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday urged external affairs minister S Jaishankar to take action against his colleagues in the Indian Embassy in Muskat which reportedly issued the BJP statement to the media houses in Oman over the Prophet row. Replying to a tweet on which he was tagged, Shashi Tharoor said this is a serious issue. The embassy sending out the BJP's statement is contradictory to the foreign ministry's statement that the objectionable views were of fringe elements, Shashi Tharoor hinted. Also Read: PM Modi listens to Muslim countries, not Muslims of India: Owaisi on Nupur Sharma, Naveen Jindal
"The very distinction between our government & a political party (which @MEAIndia relied on to distance GOI from the inflammatory remarks) has been forgotten in this over-zealous message," Shashi Tharoor tweeted.
A purported screenshot shared on Twitter showed that the Embassy of India in Muscat sent the BJP's statement issued on Sunday to all media organisations in Oman as a press release from India. It was the same press release in which the BJP said it respects all religions. "The BJP strongly denounces insult of any religious personalities of any religion. The Bharatiya Janata Party is also strongly against any ideology which insults or demeans any sect or religion. The BJP does not promote such people or philosophy," the statement said. After issuing the statement, the party suspended Nupur Sharma and expelled Naveen Kumar Jindal over their controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad.
Several Muslim nations including Indonesia, the UAE, the Maldives, Jordan, Bahrain, Libya, Qatar, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Afghanistan raised objections against the statements made by the former BJP spokespersons making the issue an international one.
New Delhi distanced itself from the controversy and termed Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal as 'fringe elements' whose opinions do not reflect the opinion of the government.
Amid the raging controversy, the embassy in Muscat has reportedly issued the BJP statement to the media houses in Oman. "Can a govt entity do this?" author and journalist Rejimon Kuttappan asked tagging Shashi Tharoor, to which Tharoor said the matter is very serious.
Shashi Tharoor had earlier expressed his opinion on the row and said those who express "bigotry at home" should be aware of the "consequences abroad". "those who express bigotry at home should be aware of the consequences abroad. India has enjoyed a proud standing in the world, which is being undermined by the irresponsibility of the communal-minded who have been allowed free rein for too long by the ruling party," he had said. He also indulged in some wordplay with 'fringe' as he answered a Twitter user. "They've been a 'binge' too long. And some of them are 'unhinged'. In the process the nation has been 'singed'," Shashi Tharoor wrote.